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Style Evolutions: Small Town to Student

New cities inspire new fashion choices. Mia breaks down the Bristol student's wardrobe and considers how style can create community.

By Amy Marshall, Style Co-Head Editor

THE CROFT/ New cities inspire new fashion choices. Amy breaks down the Bristol student's wardrobe and considers how style can create community.

Moving from home to university brings an influx of change. From different surroundings to independent study, a new-found freedom in the big city can be liberating. Our relationship with our style is one of the many changes we undergo when we move to a new city. So, what better time to investigate the collective wardrobe of Bristol students and how this contributes to our ever-developing personal style than this year’s fresher’s issue?

To understand the ‘Bristolian look’, we must first acknowledge that the unique styles seen in the city are always evolving. From homemade grunge to the influences of the ‘dark academia’ internet aesthetic, no two styles are identical. And yet, it seems that students have an almost innate ability to recognise one another by their collective sense of style. Fashion often creates an unspoken feeling of community where individuals can connect and relate to one another. When moving to university for the first time – an exciting but lonely experience – community is more important than ever.

©Georg Lovric & Krišjānis Kazaks

Take a moment to style-spot around the city, and you’ll find an array of distinctively dressed Bristol students, clad in an individualised spin on their carefully curated Pinterest boards. Staples of such style include but are not limited to vintage (and a lot of it), skinny scarves, maxi skirts, Adidas sambas, Afghan coats, Doc Martens, low-rise cargos and the occasional North Face jacket. While this look is not representative of all Bristolians, most would agree that the city’s style is, in a word, experimental. Each day sees another student experimenting with their own fashion sense, and this is often in the form of taking inspiration from others- a collective style evolution.

But do our surroundings influence, or even change, our style? In short, yes and no. Ultimately, the concept of style is something unique to every individual. While fitting into a singular ‘aesthetic’, as popularised by the likes of TikTok and other social media outlets, has garnered more traction in recent years, it seems that for most people, it is unrealistic to attempt to fit into one sub-section of fashion. Indeed, fashion is the product of an accumulation of individual ideas and styles. And so, while our style is an inherently personal concept, our surroundings do, in some part, influence our relationship with fashion and help us achieve a sense of belonging.

©Georg Lovric & Krišjānis Kazaks

And so, looking forward to Autumn, Bristol students will continue to develop their ever-changing fashion sense, and the community will continue to grow. If you are a fresher this year, embrace the changes ahead, and don’t shy away from expressing yourself however you’d like. There is an inherent sense of sentimentality to the Bristolian style. Not only do they represent how far we have come, but Bristolian trends signify our connection with other students in a city that has welcomed us as its own.

Featured Image: Georg Lovric & Krišjānis Kazaks

Copy Editor: Honey Ryder

How does Bristol influence your style?